Reflections on 50 years

CURRENT SCHOOL LEADERS: From left to right, Kotara High School principal Mark Snedden, girl captain Hannah Short, boy captain Ben Frohlich, and inset, the school emblem, designed in 1967.
CURRENT SCHOOL LEADERS: From left to right, Kotara High School principal Mark Snedden, girl captain Hannah Short, boy captain Ben Frohlich, and inset, the school emblem, designed in 1967.

Brief history

Kotara High School celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018 and is proud to reflect on the milestone.

KHS opened it’s doors to  students on February 1, 1968, with an intake of 212 first form students and 10 teachers. William McCulloch was the first principal.

The school was the culmination of years of work beginning in November 1963 with the formation of a provisional P&C Association to advise the Minister for Education on possible sites and enrolments.

The rapid population expansion in the area bounded by Kotara, Adamstown Heights and Highfields and the implementation of co-educational schooling had prompted the need  for a new high school.

Each successive year after 1968 the school was expanded by the addition of an extra form, accompanied by additions to both teaching and ancilliary staff.

On the day of opening, A and B blocks and the canteen were completed but it would be another six years until C (1971) and D (1973) blocks were done. Classes continued to operate throughout.  1974 was the first year the school  consisted of all six forms.

The lack of a school hall proved to be a continual problem in the early history of the facility, exposing everyday operations like school assemblies, presentation days, school dances, school musicals, student exhibitions and visiting performances   to the weather, heat, rain and wind.

This was alleviated with the opening of a Multi-Purpose Centre in 1997. A number of additional buildings have been added since and the library extended.

Today Kotara High School is a a comprehensive co-educational high school with about 1000 students and approximately 100 staff including teachers and support staff.

The school prides itself on teamwork between staff, students, parents and members of the community and has a strong SRC and a very active P&C.

Mark Snedden

2018 Principal 

I am delighted to be writing within Kotara High School’s 50th Anniversary Herald supplement. As the current Principal of the school it is an honour to invite our community to attend some of the events outlined later in the feature.

Kotara High School is a fantastic public school that has a strong commitment to Public Education and a celebrated academic, cultural and sporting history.

Our school has been instrumental in the development of our wider community, in the citizens that we have produced over fifty years, and the accolades we have brought to our town.

I look forward to our celebrations, and sharing our rich history with all of Newcastle. 

Hannah Short

2018 Girls School Captain 

Kotara High School’s motto is “We Aim High” and has been for 50 years now.

It has been a place of learning, friendship and opportunity for half a century, providing students with the skills they need in order to thrive within society.

Words cannot accurately describe how honoured I feel to be in this leadership position at the time of this milestone.

I first noticed the ‘EST 1968’ sign the moment I began my first day at Kotara High in Year 7.

Never could I have imagined that six years later I would be one of the leaders who has the pleasure of celebrating it’s 50th year.

I see my role within the school as being a role model for my peers, someone to talk to, and a representative of our school to the wider community.

Our leadership executive and SRC work very close with both students and staff to ensure the best experiences and opportunities are being offered to the students at all levels.

The values of Kotara High are expressed thoroughly, such as respect and responsibility, and it is vital that all students uphold these values.

Students should feel proud to attend Kotara High School, as it is a wonderful place that allows students to express our individuality and prepares them for the outside world.

I’m excited for this school’s future, as I see new and innovating ideas being developed to further create an exceptional learning space.

In another 50 years time, I plan to revisit Kotara High that has no doubt shaped myself and many others into the young adults we are today, and the future leaders of tomorrow.

Ben Frolich

2018 Boys School Captain 

As I reflect on Kotara High School I am overwhelmingly pleased that I have the privilege of leading our school for its 50th year. The opportunity to record my feelings at this important moment in the school’s history gives me immense pride.

This is a school that has allowed me, and so many others great opportunities.

Looking back on my years at Kotara High Schools I see a proud history that reflects a strong community and a cohesive school population. I also see an even stronger future.

The commitment I have as School Captain to perform my duties to the highest standard is part of an ongoing tradition of strong student leadership.

I carry on a legacy from previous captains that ensures all pupils are represented with enthusiasm and inclusion. I felt this when I was a junior student and the school continues to build student programs that reflect the genuine needs of all students.

During this year of celebration I have realised that where visions for the future are essential, so is strength drawn from the past.

As past students and staff return to Kotara High I hope they see a school that still reflects the vision they had of it as well as a school that is moving forward to a successful future.